Workers’ Compensation Law in California: Commercial Traveler Regulations

As explained by the California Department of Insurance, employers are required to purchase and maintain no-fault workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Workers are generally covered as long as they were hurt within the “course and scope” of their employment. What happens if your employee is engaged in off-site travel? This is where California’s commercial traveler regulations come into play. Within this article, our Fresno workers’ compensation defense law firm highlights key points to know about commercial travel regulations and workers’ compensation in California.

California Workers’ Compensation: Employment-Related Travel is Covered

In California, workers’ compensation laws are designed to protect people who were injured or made ill on the job. The employee must be hurt within the course and scope of his or her employment to qualify for benefits. Here is the key point to know about commercial traveler regulations: California’s workers’ compensation protections extend to scenarios where an employee is traveling for work purposes. In other words, if an employee is on a work trip—whether it is for attending a conference, meeting with clients, or any other business-related activity away from the usual place of business— they are generally covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

For example, consider an employee, Alex, who works for a Fresno-based company. Alex is sent to Los Angeles for a week to attend a series of meetings with potential clients. While walking to a meeting from one office to another within that building, Alex trips and breaks an ankle. As Alex was on a trip explicitly for work purposes, the injury is likely to be work-related for the purposes of California’s workers’ compensation regulations. The commercial traveler rule would likely make this employee eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

California Workers’ Compensation: Regular Employment-Related Commute is Not Covered

While California’s commercial traveler regulations for workers’ compensation are comprehensive, they generally do not cover an employee’s regular commute to and from work. This principle, often referred to as the “going and coming rule,” establishes that the daily travel an employee undertakes between their home and workplace is not considered part of the job.

For instance, Maria, an employee at a Fresno marketing firm, commutes to work and from her home in another part of Fresno County. One morning, while driving to the office, Maria is involved in a car accident resulting in a wrist injury. Despite the injury occurring during a time related to her employment, Maria’s commute does not fall under the scope of work-related activities as defined by California workers’ compensation law.

Get Help From a Workers’ Compensation Defense Law Firm in Fresno, California

At Yrulegui & Roberts, our California workers’ compensation defense lawyer has the legal expertise you can trust. If you have any specific questions about defending an employee’s commercial travel workers’ compensation claim, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a fully confidential consultation. From our law office in Fresno, we defend workers’ compensation cases throughout Central California.